Saturday, March 20, 2010

Time Travel & Good Conversation

Last night, 7:45pm; Josh:  "It really does seem like the older you get, the faster it goes..."

Last night, 9:15pm; Ben: "I love good conversation."

Today, starting at 5:35pm...

     "Hey kiddo, wanna eat on the swing outside?"

     "OW-SIIIIIIIDE!  OW-SIDE! OW-siiiiide...swing?"

     "Groovy.  Your chicken is almost cooled off.  Where's your milk?"

     "Miwk.  Chawky-miwk.  Chawky."

     "No, baby.  You had Chocolate milk at lunch.  This is just plain old milk."

     "...chawky miwk...BAR-bie?"

     "No, baby.  Maybe after dinner."

Dinner in hand, we move past the front door and on to the two step stoop on the front porch.

     "Hewp.  Hewp."

     "Okay shrimp...oooone"


     "Good job, shrimp."


     "Yep, that's why we came out here."


     "Okay, baby.  oooooph (exaggerated.)"


     "No problemo, kid."


     "But we just sat on the swing?  Don't you want some chicken?"

     " want...chicken.  Chicken.  no want.  Down?"

     "You need to eat a little at least.  Here...have some yogurt."


     "You're welcome, baby."




After slinging the tyke to the ground, our adventure continues...


     "Okay...let me finish my sandwich.  You want some chicken?"

     "no want."

     "Okay.  Ready."

     "Ring arooound the roooosies, Poooocket full of pooooosies.  Aaaashes, Aashes...
         we all FALL DOWN!"

    "aaaashes, aaashes....roooosies, rooosies............all fall DOWN!  YAAAAAAY!!!"

   "Okay, what now?"


Three spin cycles later, I feel like I'm a giddy infant with a buddy.  I decide that Lela might think ants are cool.  I flip over from my "all fall down" position, and point to a tiny anthill...

     "Lela, look!"

Lela flips on her belly directly in front of my face.  I quickly slide the diaper-clad beauty to my side...

     "Look, baby...ants!"

     "antz?  ants....woooooowwwwwwww."

     "Yeah, woooooow.   You're so friggin' smart.  Anthill.  Is that an anthill?"

     "anthill?  anthill...woooooow.  dir-dee."

Lela stands up, and begins patting off her hands and tiny pant-legs.


     "Okay.  Where do you want to walk?"

Lela points curiously to the road, where a few pedestrians have passed us by.


     "Okay, you want to sit on my shoulders?"

Assuming too much apparently, I sling the gorgeous little girl onto my shoulders.

     "WAWK!  WAWK! WAWK!!!"

     "Sheesh, okay, okay..."

I crouch on one knee to look her in the eye for a serious conversation.  During past crouching, it hasn't been uncommon for Lela to back herself onto my knee.  Thus is the case here...

     "Don't EVER go on the road without Momma, or Daddy, understand?  Never walk on the road
          without one of us holding your hand."

I hold up my finger with her hand clasped around it.




We walk, and as we go I name things that I don't think she's learned yet.  A tiny voice mimics every word with a soft, cascading tone...





Suddenly, I see three squirrels running around the grass in one of my neighbor's yards.  I forget how common it is for a second while my breath is stolen at the thought of my daughter seeing something so cool...


     "woooooooooooow!  skirrels!"

     "Look, baby...that one has an acorn in it's mouth."

Lela is genuinely taken aback by the site of these squirrel-buddies gleefully stumbling over one another.  A sweetly sincere grin fills my baby-girl's face.  She sees another squirrel perched in a tree that i hadn't noticed.  Her squeal is so infectious.  It makes me feel completely immersed in a conversation about critters that probably number in the hundreds in our neighborhood.

     "ahhhhh!!!  look daddy, skirrel tree!"

     "Yeaaah!  There is another one!  Good eye shrimp!"

We finished walking the length of our street, and then turned around and started back toward the house.  Along the way, Lela pointed out birds, rocks, leaves, grass, signs, mailboxes, cars, trucks and anything that crossed her vision.  If I had taken that short walk alone, it would have zipped by just like any other goal-oriented task I perform throughout the day.

I don't like the thought that people can't have a complete life without children.  I think it's a condescending concept even though it's an easy to understand one.  For me though, Lela is a tiny little pause button.   A walk with her is an opportunity to spend time with one of my favorite people, and a moment in time that I know I'll never be able to steal back should I squander it.

Thankfully, I think Lela has made it easier for me to take a second and enjoy the other people, experiences, and moments that are the real fabric of life.  (especially you Carrie :))

It's not the destination, it's the "wawk."

It's been an incredibly good weekend.


1 comment: